“Of all the things there are to learn – philosophy and mathematics, poetry and law, all the arts and all the sciences – what could be more important than that we learn how to love?” writes Marianne Williamson in the Forward of Robert Holden’s new book, “Loveability: Knowing How to Love and Be Loved.” Holden’s book is indeed a great read for those who want to take a fresh look at how love is operating in their lives.
Robert Holden did not come out of the womb as a love guru. I liked how Holden opens up in “Loveability” with his own struggles in learning how to love. In one chapter Holden reveals how uncomfortable he was with Louise Hay’s Mirror Exercise, where you look into your eyes in a mirror and say to yourself “I love you”. Holden remembers saying “I can’t do this” when recalling his first experience with the mirror exercise at age 27. “When I said the words ‘I love myself’ it sounded fake.” His retelling of this experience had special meaning for me, as I was uncomfortable, too, when I first tried mirror work. In being vulnerable with his own love issues and how he worked through them, Holden’s lessons are easy for the reader to relate to. He is one of us.
Holden emphasizes again and again in Loveability that self love is the key to a fulfilling life. Are you still dealing with painful rejections of the past? “Every relationship in your life is a reflection of the relationship you have with yourself,” Holden writes. “When you make someone your source of love, they will also be a source of pain.” His words will cause me to pause the next time I feel slighted at the words or actions of another. Is it the other person doing that to me, or am I just being reminding of parts of myself I don’t accept and love? It’s not about them, it’s about me. “The quality of your relationship with yourself determines the quality of your relationship with everything else,” Holden says.
At times I felt Holden was repeating himself a bit much, stating his self love message in different forms throughout the book. Yet after reading Loveability I understood the value of his words: “Love is not just a technique you learn, a skill you acquire, or a secret you find on the last page of a book. It is a natural ability that flows effortlessly through you when you let it.”
This is the second book I have read from Holden. I also liked “Shift Happens” which I reviewed back in 2011. If you are new to Holden’s work, I recommend reading Loveability first to get a sound foundation in his self love message, and then read Shift Happens for short, daily inspirational thoughts.
The byproduct of self love according to Holden? Your relationships improve, too. “When you stop judging yourself, the habit of gratuitously judging others will also stop,” he writes. “The more you love yourself, the more people feel loved by you. It’s how reality works.”
I found myself thinking of Holden’s words on love often in the past week as different challenges came up in my life. I’m guessing the book will have the same effect on you – I recommend reading Loveability.
You can get “Loveability” from these book sellers: